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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 12:41 GMT
New Warsaw archbishop appointed
Stanislaw Wielgus
Bishop Wielgus quit at the ceremony intended to install him
The Pope has named a new archbishop of Warsaw after Stanislaw Wielgus quit admitting he had collaborated with Poland's communist-era secret police.

Pope Benedict XVI named Kazimierz Nycz, 57, who has been bishop of the Baltic city of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg since 2004.

Bishop Wielgus resigned on 7 January at the service intended to install him as the city's new archbishop.

He admitted spying on fellow clerics, many of whom had opposed the Soviet-backed government in Poland.

Church investigation

Bishop Nycz is thought to have an unblemished record under communist rule.

Bishop Wielgus has apologised for his actions but said he was blackmailed and harassed into co-operating with the secret police.

He has been granted a hearing at a special vetting court to try to clear his name.

The incident has been a major embarrassment to the Vatican and the Church in Poland, correspondents say.

About 90% of Poland's 40m people belong to the Church.

After Bishop Wielgus' resignation, Poland's Church began an investigation into whether any of its senior members collaborated with the secret police.

The Church was highly esteemed because of its leading role in the fight against communism in Poland and worldwide, particularly during the time of Polish Pope John Paul II.

But historians estimate that up to 15% of Polish clergy agreed to inform on their colleagues in the communist era.

Polish ex-spies face punishment
11 Jan 07 |  Europe
Resignation rocks Polish Church
08 Jan 07 |  Europe

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